Telling the Story of Philadelphia's Arts and Artists
Between Terminals C and D
Located in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill area, Woodmere
Art Museum was founded by Philadelphian Charles Knox Smith (1845-1916)—a business
man, civic leader, and collector of
American and European art of the 19th century.
In 1898, Smith purchased Woodmere, a 19th
century mansion on 6-acres, to showcase his extensive collection that included
paintings, statuary, vases, and rugs. He transformed the mansion and its wooded
estate into a public museum that fulfilled his vision “to provide spiritual
encounters with art in the context of nature’s beauty.” It was important to
Smith to share his collection publicly as he stated, “for the free use, benefit, and
enlightenment…of the community in which I have lived.”
To this day, Woodmere Art Museum continues to honor its
founding principles by telling the story of Philadelphia’s arts and artists.
With more than 6,000 works of art in the collection, there are 9 galleries
along with a youth art gallery, and a sculpture garden that feature rotating
and permanent exhibitions. Woodmere also offers a wide variety of educational
programming from art classes, lectures, gallery talks, and tours to events that
include a jazz and classical music series, movies, and family happenings like
storytelling, artmaking, and the popular straw maze.
Woodmere is on the National Register of Historic Places and
designated “a significant structure that contributes to the historic character
of the Chestnut Hill Historic District”—a fitting legacy of its founder’s
vision for the community.